Donny Osmond danced his way to the top of the leader's board with an intense Argentine tango that almost earned a perfect 30. "This is a transformation," Carrie Ann Inaba told him and partner Kym Johnson. Bruno Tonioli proclaimed, "finally you're turning into Donny Darko!"
She got the crowd on its feet, but the judges told Mya that she had to work on the emotional aspect of the dance. "You move so well," Carrie Ann said of her tango, "but it was distant without an inner dialogue." Head judge Len Goodman disagreed. "I never really know what I like until I see it and, I've got to say, I liked that," he said.
Could Mark Dacascos be season 9's dark horse? The Iron Chef America chairman's paso doble (along with a flip and a handful of air kicks) surprised all three judges, especially Bruno who simply stated he was "on it! Talk about sharp."
Model Joanna Krupa was this close to nailing her tango but stumbled briefly after a misstep with Maksim Chmerkovskiy, who filled in for her sick partner Derek Hough. "Getting a new partner is a bit like getting a new pair of shoes," said Len. "I think you did a great job under the circumstances." Added Carrie Ann, "You guys matched so well."
Louie Vito got docked for his pedestrian footwork -- "You're still stepping ... you have to dance," advised Bruno -- and while the snowboarder lacked movement, Natalie Coughlin failed to showcase the aggressiveness required in the paso doble. She also hit a flat note when Carrie Ann's hawk eyes spotted a lift. --Eunice Oh
Full list of couples and their scores: Natalie Coughlin and Alec Mazo: 22 Aaron Carter and Karina Smirnoff: 24 Michael Irvin and Anna Demidova: 21 Mya and Dmitry Chaplin: 27 Mark Dacascos and Lacey Schwimmer: 26 Donny Osmond and Kym Johnson: 29 Louie Vito and Chelsie Hightower: 22 Melissa Joan Hart and Mark Ballas: 23 Kelly Osbourne and Louis Van Amstel: 24 Joanna Krupa and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 24
Tell us: Who was your favorite of the night? Who pleasantly surprised you? Who disappointed? Whose turn is it to go home?Craig Sjodin/ABC